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Thursday, 05 June 2014 11:47

Internet of things for Marvell’s Agents

Written by Nick Farrell

Sky’s the limit

Marvell’s and MediaTek boffins are frantically trying to churn out products what will work in the wearable computer market.

Marvell has been showing off chips designed for everything from wearable computing devices and smart appliances to cars, homes security and personal health care, with the goal of making it easy for device OEMs to quickly bring new systems to the market.

On the list are embedded microcontrollers that support WiFi, Bluetooth and the Zigbee wireless standard. The systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) come with Marvell's EZ-Connect software, which enables easy WiFi provisioning for headless devices, built-in integration with Internet of things (IoT) cloud service providers, communications models for device-to-device communications and P2P applications, and multi-layered security, according to company officials.

Any developer wanting to create software for the new toys can ask for development kits and APIs from the outfit.

Philip Poulidis, vice president and general manager of Marvell's Mobile and Internet of Things business units, said in a statement said that Marvell's latest system-on-chip solutions offer unparalleled advantages for home automation, LED lighting control, remote control, healthcare monitoring and other applications.”

He claimed that Marvell's EZ-Connect delivers the industry's highest level of integration to significantly improve performance, lower power consumption, and reduce the total bill of materials.

The MW300 Wi-Fi microcontroller includes 802.11n WiFi capabilities while the MB300 Bluetooth SoC offer's dual-mode Bluetooth 4.1 support. The MZ ZigBee microcontroller supports the 802.15.4/ZigBee standard.

MediaTek also showed off its LinkIt development platform June 3 at Computex 2014 in Taiwan. LinkIt uses the company’s Aster SoC to push the company into the wearables market.

Aster comes in a 5.4-by-6.2 mm form that is specifically designed for wearable devices and LinkIt also includes reference designs, over-the-air update capabilities for applications, algorithms and drivers, a software development kit for Arduino and VisualStudio development environments and a hardware development kit.

J.C. Hsu, general manager of new business development at MediaTek, said in a statement that his outfit was enabling an ecosystem of device makers, application developers and service providers to create innovations and new solutions for the super-midmarket.

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